Formula for determining dues of UN Member States needs reform – Bahamas

25 September 2009

The Bahamas called today for the United Nations to overhaul the scale of assessments that determines how much each Member State must pay to fund the running of the Organization, saying the current system is based on an unjust formula that punishes some countries.

T. Brent Symonette, Deputy Prime Minister of the Bahamas, told the General Assembly’s high-level segment that the per capita gross national income (GNI) should not be given too much weight when determining the formula to be used for the period between 2010 and 2012.

The 192-member Assembly is in the process of devising the formula for dues-paying for that period for both the regular expenses of the UN and for the Organization’s peacekeeping operations worldwide.

Placing too much emphasis on per capita GNI leads to distortions, Mr. Symonette said, particularly concerning the payment of dues for peacekeeping operations.

“The current scale places the Bahamas, a small island developing State, in the same category as the most developed economies of the world, with the exception of the permanent members of the Security Council,” he said.

“This unjust formula creates an onerous burden and we call upon this body to address this inequity, which seriously undermines the development objectives of the Bahamas and other developing countries.

Mr. Symonette stressed that the GNI criterion did not accurately reflect the vulnerability of the Bahamian economy, “or the extraordinary costs associated with the duplication of infrastructure required because of our archipelagic configuration.”

The Deputy Prime Minister said his country had never wavered from its responsibilities as a member of the international community and would continue to meet its obligations to the UN in the manner prescribed and agreed.

“While my Government is committed to paying its assessed contributions, in full and in a timely manner, we believe that the proposed scale of assessments is unfairly and unduly burdensome for countries such as the Bahamas and should therefore be reconsidered and adjusted, taking into account those considerations that reflect our vulnerabilities.”

 

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